Oct 21, 2012
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Dani Pedrosa (26) leads Jorge Lorenzo (99) and Casey Stoner late in the wet Malaysian Grand Prix. Photo courtesy of www.motogp.com
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Sepang Circuit, Malaysia
October 21, 2012
Race Results (wet conditions, all on Bridgestone tires):
1. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 13 laps, 29:29.049
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), -3.774 seconds
3. Casey STONER, Australia (HONDA), -7.144
4. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), -10.518
5. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (DUCATI), -16.759
6. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), -17.276
7. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), -50.282
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (Aprilia-Aspar/ART), -51.585
9. James ELLISON, UK (Aprilia-PBM/ART), -56.676
10. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (DUCATI), -57.622
11. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (BMW-IODA/SUTER), -62.805
12. Michele PIRRO, Italy (Honda-Gresini/FTR), -62.891
13. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (YAMAHA), -88.989
14. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), -2 laps, DNF, crash
15. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), -3 laps, DNF, crash
16. Randy DE PUNIET, France (Aprilia-Aspar/ART), -3 laps, DNF, crash
17. Ivan SILVA, Spain (Kawasaki-BQR/FTR), -3 laps, DNF, crash
18. Colin EDWARDS, USA (BMW-Forward/SUTER), -3 laps, DNF, crash
19. Ben SPIES, USA (YAMAHA), -5 laps, DNF, crash
20. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (Aprilia-Speed Master/ART), DQ
World Championship Point Standings (after 16 of 18 races):
1. Lorenzo, 330 points
2. Pedrosa, 307
3. Stoner, 213
4. Dovizioso, 195
5. Bautista, 154
6. Rossi, 148
7. Crutchlow, 135
8. Bradl, 125
9. Hayden, 114
10. Spies, 88
11. Barbera, 79
12. Aleix Espargaro, 63
13. De Puniet, 53
14. Abraham, 43
15. Pirro, 30
16. TIE, Ellison/Yonny Hernandez, 28
18. Edwards, 25
19. Jonathan Rea, 17
20. Petrucci, 16
21. Mattia Pasini, 13
22. Silva, 11
23. Toni Elias, 10
24. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, 7
25. Steve Rapp, 2
26. David Salom, 1
More, from a press release issued by Speed Master:
MALAYSIA GP: ROLFO CRASHES OUT WHEN HOLDING THE THIRTEENTH POSITION
Today's race of the top class marked the end of the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the sixteenth round of the 2012 season.
The warm up of this morning was useful for Rolfo and his crew, with the aim to improve the set up of the ART machine in the fourth part of the track, which allowed Roberto to have a better feeling on top of his bike and to get closer to the other CRT riders.
In the race, which was declared wet, Rolfo started from the nineteenth spot on the grid, and tried to stay with the other CRT riders: Roberto was in thirteenth position, when he crashed out. Despite the red flag and consequent interruption of the race, the Italian didn't manage to get back to his pit box with his ART machine, which prevented him from achieving some points.
Roberto Rolfo #84 - disqualified
"This was quite a strange race. In the sighting lap, the tyres were working well and I was confident for the first part of the race, also because we chose a soft rear tyre. After the start, in few turns I managed to find a good pace and to keep close to the guys ahead of me. When the other riders started to put in a more competitive pace, I struggled to stay close to them, I had some problems when braking and to keep a good speed in the central part of the corners. I tried to improve, changing my lines as well, but it wasn't easy. When it started raining again, I was in thirteenth position and I crashed out at the seventh turn, where some other riders fell, too. It's a shame because I didn't manage to get back to the pit box, therefore we achieved no points "” which would have cheered us up a little. Now we're headed to Australia and there we'll try to do better."
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha MotoGP Team:
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo endured a treacherous ordeal to take second in this afternoon's Grand Prix of Malaysia. The Championship leader took the hole shot from pole on the wet track with closest rival Dani Pedrosa in pursuit less than half a second behind. Lorenzo maintained his lead until just before the last corner on lap nine where Pedrosa was able to pass. The rain increased at this point making riding extremely difficult for the entire grid, Lorenzo himself miraculously saving a near fall into turn 15. The red flags were eventually brought out to halt the race on lap 13 after a number of riders fell in the treacherous conditions. The second place finish means Lorenzo moves on to the final two races with a 23 point lead in the Championship.
Lorenzo's team mate Ben Spies had dropped three places from the start grid, working hard to avoid another rider spinning off the line. As a result he went into the first corner in ninth position, then dropping to tenth on lap three. The Texan then found an impressive race pace matching the front runners and looked threatening to move up the field until disaster struck on the eighth lap as he became one of the many victims to fall in the incredibly slippery conditions. The DNF means Spies heads to the final two races of the season remaining on 88 points in tenth position.
Jorge Lorenzo Position : 2nd Time: +3.774
"If we were riding at 20km per hour it is easy to stay on the bike but it is very difficult to find the limit in these conditions. They made the right decision to stop the race, for us it was great because we might otherwise have finished on the ground and crashed. We used the soft rear where Dani and Casey used the harder one. When the conditions were ok they used less of the centre of the tyre so when the conditions became worse they had more to play with."
Ben Spies Position : DNF Time:
"What a shocking race, the water on the track was incredible. I'm really sorry for rubbing into Nicky, I thought I had enough space to brake; I'm relieved we didn't go down together and he was ok. It was a close one at the start as well, Dovi spun off the line and we were lucky not to make contact. That was one of the wettest races I've had in a long time, my shoulder's really sore from the fall but thankfully nothing too serious so I'll be able to ride in Australia."
"A very wet race! I think Jorge did great, he tried in the beginning to get away and escape, finally he kept a bit of safety to stay on two wheels. In the end second position is great for the Championship. We still have two races to go and he is ready to try again in Phillip Island."
"The conditions were very bad today, I think the decision to stop the race was the right one. The safety of the riders has to be guaranteed. We are leaving here with 23 points, still leading the Championship which is important. Hopefully Ben can have different results in the next two races; fortunately he didn't receive any serious injuries and should be fine for Phillip Island. We won't be going there looking to finish in second place."
More, from a press release issued by Power Electronics Aspar Team:
ALEIX ESPARGARÃ“ TAKES BEST RESULT OF THE SEASON AT SEPANG
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider earns eighth place and extends lead in CRT standings. Randy De Puniet crashes in final stages of Malaysian round
The Malaysian GP always faces a risk of rain, and the MotoGP riders bore the brunt of just such a scenario this Sunday. Their race was delayed until 4:20pm, scheduled for 20 laps of the Speang circuit. A wet contest saw Lorenzo and Pedrosa pull away early, before the latter made a pass at the midway point. That was the final overtake for the lead in the race, as on lap thirteen Race Direction ordered the red flag to be shown due to the dangerous conditions. Thirteen riders had avoided crashing but the surface presented too much of a risk to allow the Malaysian GP to continue.
There were mixed feelings for the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders in Sepang. Aleix EspargarÃ³ and Randy De Puniet had continued to lead the CRT riders during the weekend, but during the race the heavy rain made things much tougher for the duo. Aleix EspargarÃ³ kept his bike upright and set a strong pace, riding round in eighth before Race Direction made the decision to stop the contest. Awarded the position, he added a further eight points to his tally for the season and claimed his best result of the campaign so far.
Teammate Randy De Puniet had his bike slip from under him in a lowside on the final corner of the Sepang circuit, on lap ten shortly before the race was red flagged.
In honour of GinÃ©s Guirado, a friend of the Aspar Team and the entire paddock who passed away yesterday: "The Aspar family will always hold you in our hearts. Thank you for all our time together. RIP"
8th Aleix EspargarÃ³: "I am very happy, because today we took a big CRT victory in a tough race. I started well and battled with some of the satellite riders at the start, then Randy passed me at a good pace and I struggled to keep with him. Soon that intensity dropped, so I decided to pass him again. Later I caught up with Barbera until it started to rain more heavily and it was almost impossible to stay on the bike -on every corner both wheels were sliding around. Seeing Randy had crashed, I decided to focus on staying upright and taking as many points as possible. That was a valuable result and we must continue like this in Australia, in order to reach Valencia calm and able to enjoy the weekend. I think the decision to stop the race was the right one, because the way the track was made it too dangerous for the riders."
Randy De Puniet (DNF): "Today I made a pretty good start; on the first few laps I felt fine. But when the rain intensified I started to lose confidence. Aleix overtook me, I tried to follow him but he was going very fast, so I tried just to keep my position at all costs. I knew it would be difficult to re-pass him, so the most logical choice, seeing the state of the track, was to try and pick up as many points as possible. When it started to rain more I couldn't see anything at all. On lap ten, the final corner, I ran through too much water and lost the front. It's a pity, but we can't wallow in this and at least we are just ten points behind Aleix. We have to focus on catching him however we can; it will be difficult, but we won't throw in the towel."
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:
BRADL OUT OF LUCK IN A DRAMATIC WET SEPANG RACE
Sepang, 21st October: this morning the temperatures were the hottest they have been so far at Sepang track for the warm up session but the sunny skies suddenly changed to a typical rainstom with the premier class riders involved in a hugely dramatic and soaking wet Malaysian Grand Prix which was red-flagged with 7 laps to go.
LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl had a good start from the third row running with a good rhythm in the wet but the conditions deteriorated lap by lap and the German rookie suffered a crash out of sixth place putting a premature end to his race.
Stefan: "First of all we must check the data to understand what happened. I took a very good start from the 8th place but it was pretty tough out there because of the wet and slippery surface. But I could lap with a good pace and constant speed but after some laps I had to change the map because we had too much engine break. Since that moment something changed and the engine was pushing me in the corner entries and I did not know what was going on. After that I was back to the standard engine brake but it was too much in those difficult conditions and started to be slower. In the heavy rain I was more careful but suddenly when I lost the rear and crashed out. I do not think it was completely my fault and I feel sorry for me and the Team".
More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:
Pedrosa tames torrential conditions for Sepang victory
Round 16: Malaysian Grand Prix Race
Sepang, Sunday 21 October 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-Hard. Rear: Medium (Symmetric), Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Wet. Ambient 27-27Â°C; Track 32-32Â°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa took his sixth win of the season at a rain-shortened Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang to close the gap to Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo to twenty-three points.
Starting on pole, Yamaha Factory Racing's Lorenzo selected the softer rear wet tyre for the race and got a good start to lead the first ten laps before Pedrosa made the race-winning pass under brakes into the final turn before the start of lap eleven. With the rain getting heavier, Lorenzo survived a late scare while in second place before the race was red-flagged with seven laps remaining. The race was scheduled to restart to run the final seven laps, but the persistent heavy rain resulted in race control deeming the race complete due to the unsafe condition of the circuit.
The final standings were Pedrosa first, Lorenzo second, with third place going to Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner. The highest-placed CRT rider was Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro who scored his best result of the season by finishing in eighth position.
The track temperature during the race was 32Â°C and all riders opted for the hard compound front wet tyre for the race, while rear tyre choice was evenly split, with ten riders each selecting the soft and hard compound wet tyre. Those riders that selected the hard compound rear wet included all four Honda riders and the factory Ducati's of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
Pedrosa's latest win swells his points total to 307, while Lorenzo leads the way with 330 points. Stoner's podium sees him consolidate third position in the championship on 213 points.
Hiroshi Yamada Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Well done to Dani and Repsol Honda for their win in today's extremely difficult conditions and I must commend all the riders who braved the torrential rain to put on a show for the Malaysian fans. It was also good to see Casey back on the podium despite still recovering from his injury. During the whole weekend there was a large and vocal crowd at the circuit and it is great to see MotoGP becoming ever more popular in this part of the world. We now look forward to the next race at Phillip Island where Dani and Jorge will resume their exciting fight for the championship."
Masao Azuma Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"The tropical weather turned extreme today with two heavy rain showers before and during the race. All riders selected the hard front wet tyre for the race as this option gives better cornering and braking stability, while rear tyre choice was split the soft and hard compound. The soft rear wet tyre gives better edge grip at a slight expense to durability but as the race was red-flagged after thirteen laps, the difference in performance between these two options didn't have a major influence on the result. Overall, the low grip levels in the dry sessions this weekend combined with the intermittent rain made it challenging for the teams and riders, and resulted in every specification of tyre in our allocation for this weekend being used."
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Race Winner
"It was a really hard race because in the beginning because I was trying to follow Jorge and find my rhythm. Mid-race I managed to pass him and do some good laps but then it started to rain really heavily. It was tough but I'm really happy as it was my first win in a wet race and it's a great feeling, so thanks a lot to my team."
More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team:
IvÃ¡n Silva crashes with eight laps to go as he was within the points in dramatic MotoGP race
Sepang, 21 of October 2012. If the Moto2 race was stopped by the red flag so was the MotoGP race and with seven laps to go as Pedrosa was comfortably leading the race director decided to stop the race as a heavy downpour left the track in a dangerous state. IvÃ¡n Silva - who was really motivated before this race as he was convinced that he could get a good result - had to fight against the rear part of his bike as it would always excessively slide on tackling bends. In spite of this issue Silva who was within the points maintained the pace but he could not avoid to crash as the rain got heavier on the circuit of Sepang. He hopes that he will be luckier in Australia and he will ge the desired result.
IvÃ¡n Silva (Dropped out): "In the beginning we were at ease and I managed to pass quite a few riders but as soon as we were able to speed up after we had a proper feel of the track I realized we had some issues with the rear part because it would systematically slide a lot whenever I was slowly tackling a bend. This gets even more complicated in wet conditions and I couldn't avoid to crash. It's a pity because we were within the points and I really wanted to complete the race. We had greater expectation on this track because in the pre-season we had trained here. However we experienced a lot of issues and we didn't manage to make the best of these few days of training. I hope things will go better in Australia even though I am not familiar with the track".
More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
Dovizioso and Crutchlow fall in Malaysian monsoon
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow both fell out of contention while challenging for the top five in monsoon conditions at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia this afternoon.
The 20-lap race started in treacherous conditions, but Dovizioso and Crutchlow quickly calculated how hard they could attack the rain-soaked Sepang track, despite having no previous wet time on track this weekend.
Italian Dovizioso immediately put himself in contention for a seventh podiu m finish of the season and he was in hot pursuit of reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. But with the rain getting heavier and track conditions worsening by the second, he crashed out of fourth position on lap 10.
Dovizioso was able to remount his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine and re-join the action in 14th position. The race was then red flagged on lap 13 with Race Direction halting proceedings as standing water began to appear in sections of the track.
With seven laps still to be completed, a scheduled restart was later abandoned with the conditions showing no sign of improving and full World Championship points were awarded, with Dovizioso picking up three points for 13th.
British rider Crutchlow was also having a very strong race after a cautious start. The 26-year-old expertly judged where he could p ush without too many risks to climb from 10th to fifth. He had just passed Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl when he fell out of contention at the final corner on lap 11.
The spill cost Crutchlow more precious points in his quest to finish fifth in the World Championship rankings but he is confident he can return to the podium battle in next weekend's Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Andrea Dovizioso 13th 195 points:
"It's a real pity that the rain came this afternoon. We did such a good job during the weekend with the bike in the dry and we started strong from the first session, so to find these really bad conditions was unlucky for us today. I was ready for a really hard race in hot weather and I'm sure I would have been fighting for the podiu m in the dry. We can't change it and I certainly didn't have the same good feeling in the wet. I had a big slide off the start and lost some places but I managed to get into a fast pace quite quickly. It is very difficult to start a race in the rain with no other time on track in the wet all weekend. I was quite fast but I was lacking rear grip. I could brake very strong but I struggled at exit of the corner. I pushed really hard trying to pass Casey and I lost the front without braking while at maximum angle. I still managed to score some points and finish the race but we expected much more and I am determined to bounce back quickly next week in Australia."
Cal Crutchlow DNF:
"It has been a pretty disappointing weekend to be honest and another DNF has really hurt my chances of finishing fifth in the Championship because Val entino and Alvaro were behind me in the race. When I crashed the rain had really started to fall heavily and I was braking upright. I must have hit some standing water but I was down with no chance to save it. We struggled all weekend to find a good set-up in the dry and I had no rear grip. Unfortunately it was the same in the rain and we need to understand why for the future. I had to make up all my time on the brakes and I was pushing and got caught out. Phillip Island is a track I love, so hopefully I can put the disappointment of here and Japan behind me to finish the season strong."
Herve Poncharal Team Manager:
"We were really confident last night after Andrea had finished on the front row of the grid. He was very positive that he could battle for the podium again and we were even thinking that he might be able to push Dani and Jorge in the dry. But the weather played a pivotal role today and it turned out to be a very disappointing afternoon for us. The conditions were very unpredictable but Andrea and Cal were doing a very good job. Andrea was pushing very hard and after only two laps he was back in fourth and in the hunt for the podium. It is a pity that he crashed because we were confident that he was going to put pressure on Casey and go for the podium. It is the same story for Cal. At the stage of the race he crashed the conditions were incredibly difficult and I suppose we can be thankful that both of them are fit for Phillip Island. It wasn't a good result for the Championship but at least Cal was fighting inside the top five again. I don't think anybody can say the race wasn't stopped at the right time and hopefully we will have dry weather in Australia and both of them will be pushing for the rostrum."
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Pedrosa takes maiden win in the rain with Stoner in 3rd as Repsol Honda celebrate Team Championship The Repsol Honda Team returned to full power at the Malaysian Grand Prix with another superb win for Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner's return to the podium in third position.
The treacherous conditions today in Sepang caused the race to be cancelled with six laps remaining due to heavy tropical rain. Dani was 6.4 seconds ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey was chasing him for second place when the red flag was displayed and prevented him progressing any further.
Today, Dani celebrated his first victory in wet conditions, his sixth of the 2012 season and the 44th in his Grand Prix career, equaling Lorenzo and Casey in the ranking of all time winners. It's the first time that Dani has won three races in a row in the premier class and he is the first Spanish rider ever to win in Malaysia in MotoGP. He has also beaten his record of 13 podiums in a season and continues to chase the title with two races remaining.
Casey returned to the podium -his sixth of the season- in only his second race back after injury forced him to miss three races since Indianapolis. The 2011 World Champion was cautious and therefore unable match the pace of Dani and Jorge in the early laps, but his confidence grew and he began to find his rhythm as the race progressed and was closing the gap to Lorenzo when the race was stopped.
With today's double podium, the 7th of the season, the Repsol Honda Team have clinched the 2012 Team Championship with two races remaining. The combined points tally of 537 has secured the title with the second place team 119 behind and a maximum 90 points on offer in the last two races. The Repsol Honda riders have had an impressive season to date with Dani taking six 1st's, four 2nd's, four 3rd's and a 4th place. Casey, who missed three races due to injury has so far scored four 1st's, one 2nd, three 3rd's, two 4th's, one 5th and an 8th place. Replacement rider Jonathan Rea also added to the points with an 8th and 7th position respectively, when filling in for Casey in Misano and Aragon GP's.
DANI PEDROSA 1st World Championship Standing: 2nd with 307 points
"This victory is really amazing for me; it's the first time I've won in the wet in my life and I'm really, really happy. I want to thank my team and the people who helped me to get here because when I started racing in these conditions I was weak and they know how difficult it's been during all this time! Jorge set a really high pace at the beginning of the race and I remained calm to stay with him. I knew he was on a soft rear tyre and he could pull out some good laps at the start. Lap by lap I got a little more confident and I could still push and at half way in the race I overtook him and built a good gap. Some laps later the rain came down heave and it was hard to stay on the bike. I was lucky to be able to win this race, and also Jor ge to finish second because he was almost on the ground. So, I'm happy for the victory, but especially happy to be able to dedicate it to GinÃ©s, a good friend and member of the Repsol Honda Team that sadly passed away yesterday. This one is for you!".
CASEY STONER 3rd World Championship Standing: 3rd with 213 points
"At the start of the race, I would have been very happy for a podium. I was considering not taking part in the rain at all as the risks were very high - if I had come off the bike again and hit my ankle, it would have been game over for the rest of the season. As the race progressed I slowly got my confidence back and I was working on different things as I hadn't ridden in the wet in quite some time. I slowly began to catch the front two but unfortunately ran out of time as the red flagged the race. In a lot of ways I'm disappointed, but I'm happy with the points haul we took today and another podium".
SHUHEI NAKAMOTO - HRC EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
"Today Dani and Casey had a great race! Another win and another double podium that allow the Repsol Honda Team to win the 2012 Team Championship. Now we must remain concentrated and focused for the Constructor and Rider Championships challenge in the next two races... we will not give up until the last lap of the season!"
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Hayden fourth, Rossi fifth in Malaysian rain
Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Malaysian Grand Prix, which was marked by very wet conditions.
Rain had already fallen during the Moto3 race, which saw German Sandro Cortese take the win and the title, and it had an even bigger influence on the Moto2 race, which started late and ended early. But it was the MotoGP race that was most affected, with delays, crashes and eventually a premature finish. Nicky Hayden passed the chequered flag in fourth place, having lapped at a competitive pace and avoided mistakes.
After an excellent start from the fourth row, Valentino Rossi was fifth at the end of lap one, and until eleven laps from the end, he was involved in a fight with Dovizioso and Stoner for the third step of the podium. With the rain increasing in intensity, he ran long in turn 7, dropping to ninth place as a result. From there, he once again advanced as high as fifth place, when the red flag fell seven laps before the scheduled finish. With the rain only falling harder after that, the decision was made not to restart the race.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 4th
"Those were really tough conditions. I got a good launch, but when Dovizioso got sideways in front of me, I shut off the throttle and lost positions. I was able to recover, but I lost some confidence when the rear tried to come around a couple times. I had to be really patient in the beginning, but once I got rolling, I had good rhythm. It was clearly the right decision to call the race. There was a lot of water those last couple of laps, and it was almost impossible to see, although the rear lights on the bikes helped a lot. In dry conditions, I would've been thrilled with fourth, but I know our potential is higher in the wet. It would've been amazing to give my guys a podium today, but it's a decent result. Hopefully, it can help me come out of the difficult period and give us something to build on."
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 5th
"Our race wasn't bad because I got a great start despite being so far back, on the fourth row, and then I managed to be pretty fast. I was riding with Dovizioso and Stoner, when unfortunately I started having some problems with my visor fogging, and in those extreme conditions, with low light and a lot of water, it was very difficult. I made a mistake in turn 7, and I was lucky not to crash because it was the same point where Dovizioso, Spies and then Bradl went down. Without that mistake, I could have finished fourth because honestly, Stoner was a bit faster than I was, especially in T2. In general though, it didn't go bad. Of course I would've liked to finish the full race, but there was really too much water. I think the decision to stop was correct because in these conditions, the bikes can aquaplane and you can go down in any corner."
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
"It was certainly a strange Sunday, with conditions that we hadn't ridden in the whole weekend. We started with the tyres as an unknown and opted for the hard rain, which in the end turned out to be a good choice. Both Nicky and Vale were very good because they brought home a good haul of points in an extremely difficult situation that cost many others. Our bike performs very well in wet conditions, and both riders took good advantage of that."
More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:
An electrical problem constrains Edwards to retire
Complicated race for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team and Colin Edwards, constrained to retire due to an electrical problem while he was within the points.
The American rider had a good start being in the points in the very first lap with the other CRTs and Karel Abraham, the difficult weather conditions and an electrical problem with his Suter BMW prototype prevented him from finishing when he was in fifteenth position.
Colin Edwards Not Classified
"We had no real idea of what the rain setting was; we just kind of put what we had in Aragon. Got a good start of the race, felt immediately comfortable, there are still some things that we can still improve. Dry gearing with this bike in the rain is not really working, getting yanked of the corner so bad having to make it up on breaks and corner speed to stay with them. I had three aprilias right in front of me and was waiting to see if anyone makes a mistake but then something went wrong, we still have to go over the data to see what went wrong but it was just not safe to stay on the track. And when pit in."
Sergio Verbena Crew Chief
"Difficult day in which we started of in the warm up in the dry and the complete opposite conditions for during the race. Colin had a good feeling with the bike in the rain even though we didn't have the opportunity to work on the right setting in wet conditions but the setup seemed to work well for the race. Unfortunately an electrical problem constrained him to retire."
More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:
On a race weekend at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang that saw all three classes affected by the elements in one way or another it was Moto3™ rider Sandro Cortese that stole the headlines by grabbing his maiden GP title, whilst Repsol Honda Team's Dani Pedrosa stunned all with a masterful display in a drenched premier-class race. In a dramatic MotoGP™ race hit by torrential rain and a raft of crashes, Pedrosa took the win ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner, bringing his title aspirations firmly within reach.
It was Yamaha Factory Racing's Lorenzo who got the holeshot ahead of Pedrosa, while Ducati Team's Valentino Rossi got a good start from 11th to move into fourth within the first lap. Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso, who had a bad start, was carving his way through the pack and soon got past Rossi into fourth to chase down Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner in third.
Lorenzo, having opted for the softer option wet rear tyre, had a small margin over Pedrosa with 18 laps to go, who had the harder rear tyre. All Yamahas on the grid as well as Cardion AB Racing's Karel Abraham had opted for the soft-rear, hard-front combination, with all others running with hards front and rear. A lap later however and Pedrosa was breathing down Lorenzo's neck having closed the gap to a fraction of a second.
Further afield Stoner was leading a group, about five seconds off the leading duo, with Dovizioso, Rossi, LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl, Ducati Team's Nicky Hayden, San Carlo Honda Gresini's Ãlvaro Bautista and Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow. With 12 laps remaining, Pedrosa was continuing to stick to Lorenzo's rear wheel as the pair looked locked in a stalemate out on track. Further back on the same lap, Yamaha's Bes Spies suffered a heavy crash out of tenth place, putting a premature end to his race. He was taken to the medical centre to check on a shoulder injury, and was later declared ok.
Rossi also dropped from behind Dovizioso back into ninth, as his teammate Hayden fought his way up to fifth. A lap further on and it was drama for Dovizioso as he also slid out of the race, which continued to be pummelled with rain. It was in the final turn of this lap that Pedrosa made a move stick on Lorenzo to take the lead just over the halfway point, and the Repsol rider instantly looked more comfortable in front, pulling a small gap. In the meantime, NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Colin Edwards retired with a mechanical option.
As the grid headed into lap nine there were further crashes in the final turn as Crutchlow slid off, followed almost directly in the same place by Power Electronics Aspar's Randy de Puniet. It was a crash strewn lap, with Bradl also losing the front of his satellite Honda, and Avintia Blusens' IvÃ¡n Silva also crashing out. Back on track Rossi looked in his element as he squeezed past Bautista into fifth. Things were also getting interesting at the front as Lorenzo was being not only dropped off by Pedrosa, but also being closed down by Stoner at a very quick rate.
The rain was coming down heavily with 15 laps left, and Lorenzo suffered a very scary moment, where he saved a near crash just seconds before the Red Flag was shown due to safety concerns. After much deliberating as to whether a re-start would be possible, conditions deteriorated, and the win was awarded to Pedrosa, with Lorenzo and Stoner completing the rostrum. This now puts Pedrosa within 23-points, less than one race-win, of title rival Lorenzo, with 50-points still up for grabs in the final two races. Hayden recorded a fantastic fourth, ahead of Rossi, Bautista, BarberÃ¡, De Puniet's teammate EspargarÃ³, Paul Bird Motorsport's James Ellison and Abraham.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Alex de Angelis took his maiden-Moto2™ win this season in a hugely dramatic and soaking wet Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang, finishing ahead of Anthony West and Gino Rea.
Following a torrential downpour before the start, the race was delayed by half an hour and declared wet by Race Direction. The first corner took its first casualty as Italtrans Racing Team's Takaaki Nakagami dropped his bike out of the lead. A few bends later there was a further crash with JiR Moto2's Johann Zarco and Tech 3 Racing's Xavier SimÃ©on, also causing Marc VDS Racing Team's Mika Kallio to run off track.
The early stages were being led by Blusens Avintia's JuliÃ¡n SimÃ³n, De Angelis and Federal Oil Gresini Moto2's Gino Rea, with the Brit making terrific headway in the early stages. Nakagami, who had re-mounted, fell once again after colliding with JiR Moto2's Eric Granado, who later retired. QMMF Racing Team's Anthony West had fought his way into fourth and Kallio's teammate Redding was in fifth 17 laps in, as Came IodaRacing Project's Simone Corsi was handed a ride-through penalty for a jump-start.
A lap later, Rea's teammate Ratthapark Wilairot lost the front of his bike, as Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol's Marc MÃ¡rquez held steady in sixth, ahead of his Tuenti Movil HP 40 title rival Pol EspargarÃ³, who was struggling in 12th. The weather added yet another cruel twist, as sun started to dry out the track rapidly, with a dry line forming quickly. MÃ¡rquez was not taking any risks, and Petronas Raceline Malaysia's wildcard Hafizh Syahrin soon made his way past, much to the delight of the home fans.
With 13 laps remaining De Angelis was in the lead, yet Rea was having great ride and was putting the pressure on the San Marino rider, as West made his way into third past Interwetten-Paddock's Tom LÃ¼thi. A lap later Syahrin was on a mission as he soon powered past West into third, and then skilfully took De Angelis, and then out-braked Rea for first in an amazing trio of overtakes. With nine laps remaining the rain started to fall heavier once more, and Rea began to fight back with Syahrin holding strong, until De Angelis and West also got involved in the battle for first.
There was however huge drama with seven laps remaining as MÃ¡rquez lost the front of his bike and crashed out of the race, with EspargarÃ³ in a strong enough position to take the title fight to the next race. On the same lap there were also crashes for Kiefer Racing's Mike Di Meglio and Mapfre Aspar Moto2 duo of Nico Terol and Jordi Torres. A lap later, LÃ¼thi also put his bike in the gravel.
With four laps left De Angelis was pulling out a small gap in front with West in tow, but Rea was fighting back venomously as a three-way tussle ensued. This was however cut short as the Red Flag was shown with two laps to go with too much rain falling on the track. Rea was in the lead when the flag was waved, yet the classification was taken from the previous lap, giving De Angelis his maiden win of the season, with West is second and Rea in third, both taking their first-ever Moto2™ podiums.
With MÃ¡rquez's title rival EspargarÃ³ finishing in 11th place, MÃ¡rquez was unable to secure his title with only a 48-point lead and will have to try once more in Phillip Island. Fourth place went to Syahrin, ahead of SimÃ³n, Speed Master's Andrea Iannone, Kallio, Smith, Technomag-CIP's Dominique Aegerter and EspargarÃ³'s teammate Esteve Rabat.
At this weekend's race at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang, Red Bull KTM Ajo's Sandro Cortese won the inaugural Moto3™ world title after an enthralling victory ahead of Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Jonas Folger.
The race got underway in scorching hot but dry conditions with AirAsia-SIC-Ajo's Zulfahmi Khairuddin taking the holeshot into the tricky turn one, with Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3's Jonas Folger taking the led within a few bends. JHK t-shirt Laglisse's EfrÃ©n VÃ¡zquez was mixing it up in third from the start, with Cortese fighting him for the podium spot. Mahindra Racing's Ricardo Moretti crashed out of the race a few laps in, yet fortunately walked away from the incident unhurt. Racing Team Germany's Louis Rossi had made his way into fourth with 16 laps left, as he attacked Cortese for third. Behind him, RW Racing GP's Luis Salom had fought his way up to fifth, as a leading group of five started to pull away at the front with 13 laps remaining.
On the same lap there was drama for Frenchman Rossi, as he crashed out of contention, fortunately avoiding any of the other riders and escaping unscathed. This gave Estrella Galicia 0,0 duo Miguel Oliveira and Alex Rins, as well as Red Bull's Danny Kent a chance to close in on the group. Ten laps from the end and Salom made his way past Cortese on the home straight, as the Spaniard looked to keep the title race alive.
A lap later and Mahindra's Danny Kent had his race ended prematurely with mechanical problems, whilst Cortese got back past Salom, who had a wobble on track. With eight laps remaining another twist was added as a few rain flags came out in some corners on the track. And this prompted Khairuddin to make his move on Folger to take the lead, much to the delight of the local crowd. But Folger was fighting back fiercely, though with the Malaysian sporting superior speed on the home straight.
And it was fairing to fairing with the front two as Cortese stalked the pair from behind. Salom, who had dropped off, was battling Oliveira heavily for fourth. Cortese however was not content to stick it out, as he went past Folger into second to hunt down Khairuddin. And it was a typically breath-taking Moto3 last-lap, with Cortese passing the Malaysian in the final turn to deny him victory at his home track.
Cortese's victory made him the first man ever to take the Moto3™ title, whilst Khairuddin took his first ever GP podium. Folger completed the rostrum closely behind. Cortese is now the youngest-ever German to win the lightweight class, and only the fourth of his countryman to do so. It is also the first time that a MotoGP category has been won by a KTM machine. Fourth spot went to Salom, ahead of Oliveira, Kent, Rins, VÃ¡zquez, TT Motion Events Racing's Niklas Ajo and VÃ¡zquez's teammate Adrian MartÃn.